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Qrt2 Task One

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QRT2 Task 1
A1: Viability of Product or Services
The demand for implant treatment has increased as patients have become better educated, and insurance companies have begun to recognize the treatment as a long term cost effective way to replace missing teeth, and to improve overall gum health. As part of their cost saving structure, most dental insurance companies have begun offering coverage for portions of implant related surgery. “According to new dental reports by iData Research (www.idataresearch.net), the leading global authority in medical device, dental and pharmaceutical market research, the U.S. market for dental implants is expected to regain double-digit growth by 2013, and will help drive the dental prosthetic market to reach over 82 million prosthetic placements by 2016.” (idata research.net, 2012)
“Dental implants have earned the reputation of being the best aesthetic option for single-tooth replacement," said Dr. Kamran Zamanian, CEO of iData. "By 2016, over 20% of general practitioners are expected to place dental implants and their adoption of computer-guided-surgery will further the growth of this market." (idata research.net, 2012)
In the past the treatment options were limited to extractions with no replacement teeth, dentures, or fixed bridges. All of these options were stop gap measures to maintain oral stability. The cost of progressively treating the loss of a tooth in one or more areas often involved multiple procedures and time, which made it very expensive. With implants replacing a tooth root, and giving the bone the support it needs in often one procedure, patients are seeing the permanent value implants give at a fixed cost.
The consumer or dentist in our case is always looking to increase their margins, and lower their fixed operating costs. One of the most expensive costs is labor. With implants, the cost is fixed and a surgeon does most of the actual labor, then the labs make the crowns, which go on as the restorative piece. With fixed costs a dentist is able to determine the margin needed, and price competitively from there. The choice of a patient to choose a particular surgeon is largely based on the recommendation of their dentist. This is why it is critical to cater to and market to the dentists in our market. Dentist are also more likely to refer their patients to surgeons who are highly skilled in implant placement , and who will take care of their patients as well or better than they do to maintain the positive experience relating to their choice to move forward with implant treatment

Sunridge Oral Surgery has been on the forefront of the dental implant wave since its initial approval for use in the United
States. Valuable time and resources have been spent preparing for a time when patient education and product viability merged into a potentially profitable matrix. With capital expenditures on state of the art imaging machines, staff education, and a newly built office the practice believe that time is now to begin our expansion strategy. The practice has looked at many different avenues to gain market share, and increase our position as the go to oral surgeon in our community. Even though the practice has an existing web site, it was not working as hard for the business as the practice believed it should. In order to meet the goals of reaching new customers, the web offering needed to be enhanced, and more in line with the practice business strategy. The practice needed to leverage our internal strengths and the things patients loved about our office and channel that into our web site. One of strongest internal strengths is our resident oral surgeon Dr. Tew. He has over 25 years of oral surgical experience, and has devoted the last ten years to developing the implant side of his practice. He has studied extensively with the best implant practitioners in the world, and has designed his new surgical facility with a focus on implants, and its related technologies. With the addition of the new facility, the practice is able to perform surgeries at twice the capacity as before in the previous office. With the increased capacity comes the ability to see, and schedule more patients; thus increasing our market share. The faster the practice see patients who have agreed to treatment, the faster our customers the referring dentists get to do their jobs, and realize revenue in their practice. Suridge Oral Surgery’s web presence needed to better inform and educate the patients and referring dentist of the strengths the practice had to offer. To ensure SunRidge Oral Surgery was found at the top of all potential search engines customers utilized when looking for dental implant services, the practice needed to beef up the search engine optimization protocols. The practice needed to identify key words, and popular word searches including MetaTags, to begin the process of increasing our inbound linkage. By doing so, the practice could target the most popular searches customers were using to find information about the types of services provided by us. In order to expand our market reach with in the community, the practice also had to understand what our competitor’s web presence was, and what they were doing online. Then evaluate what they were or were not doing so well. Then take this information and apply it in our own developmental processes. The practice plans to leverage the surgeon’s time and expertise as part of the educational component of our expansion strategy. One of the main customer feedback concerns which drove us towards enhancing our web presence is the practice began to hear once too often from our patients “We did not know you did implants". This information was very unsettling to us because the primary focus of our practice is dental implantology. The fact that our customers did not know implants were the primary focus of our practice was a problem for us. The expansion strategy the practice chose is to increase our web presence via enhanced SEO, stronger social media activities, and to make our website as informative to our customers as possible. The practice chose this expansion strategy because of its far-reaching effect. Our primary customers consist of the referring doctor’s patients who range in ages of 16 to 60. According to a pew study 90% of those people are online on a regular basis and use the Internet for research, and for sharing information between friends and loved ones. A critical customer the practice had not focused on, as much externally was the referring dentist. The referring dentist is a B2B partner and is a major component in this expansion strategy. The dentist are the gatekeepers of our desired customers, and a key factor in directing patients to our business and ultimately to our web site in preparation for their visit to our office. The practice needed our website to be a value to them as well.
The benefit of the online expansion strategy for our company is that it is an immediately implementable item. It has an acceptable ROI ratio, and reaches all of our target customers, at the same time. The practice is able to update any new information, and educate our customers in real-time. Having educated patient base about our product is essential to a constructive conversation when decisions need to be made about treatment options. Having a better-educated referring dentist and patient translates to an increase in the bottom line. The benefit to the customer with this strategy is the ability to have current and updated information as it becomes available on the website presented in a format that is easy to understand. The practice has broken the expansion strategy in to three prongs, Social media, CRM, and search engine optimization Patients’ having the ability to share their experiences about us good or bad, with their friends and family through the social networking links on our web site to us is a benefit. Conversations about experiences lead to questions, and questions lead to the search for answers to those questions. This leads to two different sources for that information, the web, and the direct approach which is asking a dentist. The practice wants to increase awareness and understanding of our implant business, so the practice has to manage both those sources of information closely. Having improvements made to the website regarding its organizational structure, search features, embedded links and streamlined access to information which will assist the customer in being able to find information they are looking for more quickly once they arrive. Getting them to arrive to the website is the whole crux of this expansion strategy. This is where CRM and SEO come into play. By utilizing these existing services to their fullest the practice save’s patient time towards getting to the information they are looking for with SEO, and the practice better leverage our resources towards our B2B customers by actively using the features in our CRM software. Reducing the human cost of direct marketing and a sales force the practice is able to offer our services at a more competitive price, and there by create a greater value for our customers. An additional benefit to the company relating to social media is the opportunity for our practice to receive immediate feedback about our customers experience with our practice. Being able to enhance the customer experience, and or correct inconsistencies proactively is a very valuable tool in our attempt to gain market share.
A2: Competitor Analysis
In order to establish some relevant benchmarks for our web expansion strategy, the practice created a list of competitors in our marketplace to evaluate. Part of the selection strategy for this evaluation was to pick competitors who appeared on the very top of a Google search results under the heading of dental implants. The practice limited the comparison sample to our target market radius within seventy-five miles of our location. Another component of the strategy was to choose businesses that ranked at the top of the results page. This strategy yielded competitors that were not only local, but also offices which had regional and national offerings. The two local competitors who showed up highest on the Google search under dental implants were Riehl DDS at www.riehldds.com and www.yakimasmiles.com . These two local competitors specialize in the high-end cosmetic side of general dentistry, and are a private fee for service-based company. Their business niche is in the cosmetic dentistry area and most of their patients are financially stable, and have discretionary funds. They also compete in the dental implant market but not to the scale that keeps them from referring to us on difficult cases. The regional company the practice chose to evaluate based on their Google ranking was Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic www.YVFWC.com. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is a regional medical and dental provider. Their customers tend to fall into the low income and patients on state assistance category. YVFC has a business model that tries to provide as many services as possible in house, and provides full service dental treatments including dental implants. The national company chosen was Sunrise Dental. Sunrise is a national low cost provider, who provides in-house financing for their patients. Patients who go to Sunrise dental can expect high pressure sales tactics promoting their designed treatment plans. The five areas of our competitor’s websites the practice chose to review were social media presence, online payment options, online patient information forms, online information submission, and detailed description of patient services. The practices felt each of these elements was an important part of the user web experience, and are areas the practice determined were the building blocks of a good website. Each of the competitive websites has their own strengths and weaknesses in each of these elements. In the charts below the practice evaluated each independently using a scale from 0-5 with zero being the lowest and five being the highest. With five categories and a maximum of five possible points, the highest score achievable would be twenty-five points according to our scale. Scores are based on the following criteria. 0. Category not found 1. Category found 2. Category with active information 3. Category with links to supporting areas with in site 4. Category with links to supporting areas with in site and external links 5. Category with a help or assistance/tutorial feature and met level 4 criteria

Site Evals | Social Media | Online Payment | Patient InformationForms | Online patient Information Submission | Description of services | Total | Sunrise Dental | 4 | 0 | 3 | 0 | 4 | 11 | Yakima smiles | 5 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 4 | 9 | YVFC | 4 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 3 | 7 | Riehl | 1 | 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 17 |

As can be see from the chart above, there is a wide range of scores in the evaluation areas. There were consistent high score in the area of social media. It was noted that while each website had some sort of social media presence, the social media aspect was underutilized. Each of the webpages had references to social media outlets they were associated with, but nothing substantial like a blog or a link to their own business sponsored social media site. The website Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic brought in the lowest score on our evaluation survey. The lower score was a surprise to us because Yakima Valley Farmworkers clinic is a very big regional player in the healthcare and dental related fields. When considering the national market place and the national carriers influence in our marketplace during our evaluation, the practice looked at a national carrier known as Sunrise Dental.
Sunrise Dental is known for its no-frills low-cost dentistry and having a dentists who are employed by the company versus owning the business in which they work. Their web presence is put together well and is visually appealing, but lacked customer ease-of-use features. There was not a place for customers to submit required paperwork online. The other noted aspect on this website was the fact that you had to scroll down considerably beyond your field of view to find critical points of information you desired There were a couple of consistent areas in all the websites, which needed improvement. The first item would be a social media link on the navigation bar. The purpose of this media link would be to take you to your company-sponsored page on the social media site. All the competitive websites did a good job of talking about their ability to have multiple in house payment options, but none actually had a way to pay your bill online. In the dental field, this is a very new area for business owners to improve cash flow. Typically, in the past patients would come in with a need, be evaluated, present insurance to bill, receive services, and then wait for a statement to be mailed to them for the balance after their insurances paid their portion contract. Because of the nature of our industry, it is uncommon to have a standard priced item or service to pre pay. Each patient's dentition is unique and that makes it difficult to put a common price on our services or products. Hence the lack of a shopping cart on any of the competitive websites. The benefit of an evaluation strategy is to give our business a clear picture on what has proven to be successful for other competitive companies, what has not been successful, and allows us not to reinvent the wheel so the practice can spend more time focused on our customers. The evaluation strategy has also allowed us to become aware of certain website features, which were previously unknown to us and could prove to be a valuable tool in the implementation and web expansion strategy for our office. The additional benefit to our company by completing the competitor analysis evaluation is it forced us to look critically at our website. In addition, what the practice could do to improve the customer experience when visiting our website. The benefit to the customer by using this evaluation strategy will be enhanced customer experience, features that matter to the customer and benefits that improve their time and efficiency on our website. By enhancing our website our patients and dentists will also benefit by getting a better feeling of what their experience may be as they enter our office.
Taking the information from the evaluation survey, the practice began to price out the costs to create a website with the features and benefits to enhance the overall value of our offerings to patients and referring dentists. One feature the practice decided was critical to improving the overall patient experience was streamlining the paperwork process in the office. During our evaluation, the practice noticed there were a few companies that offered access to intake paperwork online. Our office knows the importance of complete paperwork before a patient arrives for treatment; the practice wanted a patient to be able to submit their heath information online. Many larger health and life insurance companies have implemented this feature. It would allow a patient to submit the required information anytime, and from a place, they were more likely to have all the required information. Being able to submit paperwork online allows our company to import the patient information into our patient management software. This process saves the patient, and our staff time once the patient arrives at the office. Education was another area the practice decided to strengthen after our evaluation. The practice wanted to give tools to our patients and our referring dental partners to have a place they could go to discuss the treatment suggested to their patients. The practice added specific interactive animated videos to our site for each of the related surgical services the practice offered. The practice also have made the videos downloadable so dentists can share them with their patients, or from patients to their friends or family in whatever digital medium they choose. Lastly, the practice are adding a patient feedback system so the practice can monitor how our patients perceive there visit so the practice can continue to train and improve our practice for the next patient.

A3: Overall Marketing Strategy
The practice has identified three key customer bases. The first is the baby boomer generation; second the millennial generation, and the third being our referring dentists. Millennia’s are defined, as “Millennial, an abbreviation for millennial generation, is a term used by demographers to describe a segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000 (approximately) Sometimes referred to in the media as "Generation Y," Millennial are the children of the post-WWII baby boomer generation. As a result of growing up with the Internet and associated devices, millennial are often said to be the most technologically savvy generation to date. (Rouse, 2011) Baby Boomers are defined as “A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic Post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As a group, they were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation to that time, and amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; therefore, they could reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even "midlife crisis" products. (Baby Boomer, 2012)
Our referring dentists were identified as a B2B customer during our viability and competitor analysis. The referring dentists are the lifeblood of our practice. They are the gatekeepers the practice must work with to reach our other key customer bases. In the expansion project, much consideration was given to this group. Dentists are usually small business owners who provide initial evaluations and services to our potential customers. When it is deiced, the treatment level needed is beyond the scope of general dentistry the dentist has the choice entrust their patient to a surgical practice he or she feels will provide the most exceptional service to their patient. This referral relationship if very fragile and is generally driven by three factors, clinical outcomes, cost, and the feedback of their patient. There is a lot riding on the choice this dentist makes, a bad referral can cause their patient to leave their practice.
Our strategy of choosing these three customer bases came down to the positive economics that each of these groups represent to our practice. In an oral surgery practice, there are traditionally two-time cycles in the patient's life that they will have a need for an oral surgeon. The first time being in their early to late teens for third molar extractions and the second cycle traditionally comes later in life in the form of extractions and implants. Each of these has a large financial impact on the practice production of an oral surgery office. The patient traffic driven to an oral surgeon's office comes from referrals from practicing dentists. One aspect of our strategy, which caused us to reevaluate our web presence, was the need to begin influencing the choice of the patient on who to choose to perform the necessary work. Unless the patient is educated in advance about the practice oral surgery, or has had a family member receive services prior to their needing treatment, the patient is largely reliant upon the opinion and/or recommendation of the referring dentists to make their decision on where to go. This process is crucial to our practice. Once a dentist makes a recommendation, the practice has found a patient attempts very little if any research about a practice after the referral is made. The goal in relation to the expansion, particularly as it relates to the social media aspect, and the search engine optimization was to be able to funnel the questions generated by conversations with their dentists, or with friends and family to the company website. Once the patient arrives on the site, the practice wanted the potential patient to experience the flow of their first visit to the office through the deliberate setup of the navigation tool bar on the expanded website. The practice would then track the patients in the CRM software to see who had referred the patient and if they had visited the website, and ask them for their feedback. The last part of the strategy would be to offer an e-commerce solution for the patients in the form of online payments for their services. The practice recognizes that more and more people are paying their bills electronically, and prefer that flexibility. It would also be an opportunity for the patient to revisit the site after their experience in the office, and is an area where the practice would stand out amongst our competitors being the only one to offer this feature. Having a large age disparity between each of the groups creates its own set of challenges in developing a website that meets the needs of both groups. How does a company meet the technological and social media needs of the millennial's, while making a website user-friendly enough that the baby boomer would feel comfortable navigating on the site. The other consideration was to make the website a valuable tool for the referring dentist. The office concluded that the practice would need professional help in developing a website. The practice-needed experts in the field in order to maximize the efforts to capture a larger market share of the target demographics the practice were going after. The millennia’s represent great technological savvy and influence among their peers, and are strongly influential with regards to steering their parents towards their desired outcomes. SunRidge Oral Surgery desires to harness that influence among their peers to help generate traffic towards the office by giving positive feedback about their experience to the peers via our social media pages and other online social connections. Even though the millennia’s represent quite a large source of untapped revenue the biggest sources comes from the baby boomers.
Using internal data, the practice learned that the average baby boomer that seeks treatment in the office, and commits to care will spend between on average of $4-$8000 on treatments per person. At this point in their life, the boomers understand the relationship between good oral health and overall physical and mental stability. This group was also less affected by the current economic downtrend, and have a greater scheduling flexibility is also benefit to the practice. Not wanting to be left behind, more and more boomers are getting up to speed on all things tech and social media related. The baby boomer generation represents billions of untapped resources for the health of medical profession. The referring dentists are aware of these two groups and are actively marketing to them. As the practice develops the systems and strategies to capture a bigger market share of referrals from dentists it is important to strategically align ourselves with their efforts.
The benefit of the expansion strategy to the customer is an enhanced website with features that meet the needs of each of the target demographics. Having identified the target audiences has helped us focus in on features and benefits like, pay online, paperless intake paperwork, and easy to understand videos and terminology for all of the patients. These are just some of the improvements designed to assist the patients to get the experience the practice desires them to have. The benefit to the company is the expansion has allowed the practice to identify groups, and demographics the best represent the practice needs. It also allows the practice to focus the company’s efforts and resources towards the three groups, which cut costs and wasted time. The practice is also able to focus specific literature, and pamphlets towards identified focus groups to maximize the full expansion potential.
Now that the practice knows there is a need for the expansion, and understand who the key players are in our market the practice can begin to put together the pieces of our new web site offering. Knowing who our key customers are what demographic, or group they fall into will help us decide how to best target them through an enhanced search engine optimization. The practice will also look to use features of our patient management software to enhance its existing CRM functions to assist us in identifying referral trends, and to help us identify where to allocate the proper resources when marketing to those referral sources. Within the practice, there are existing marketing plans, which are specifically geared towards our referring dentist. These marketing strategies include educational seminars, enhanced training for our referral staff, and access to our surgeon for complex treatment planning. The strategy with the expanded web offering is to leverage a tab on a website just for the referring doctors where they can go to find the latest information about a specific product, treatment option, or upcoming educational event our office is sponsoring. Our marketing strategy towards our patients that have been referred to our office is to make them feel included as much is possible in their treatment planning. The practice also have invested considerably towards technology and equipment in or office that enhance the safety for the patient, and assist in the best possible clinical outcomes.
When the patient arrives, the practice engage in a lot of internal marketing to ensure the patient feels confident that their dentist has referred them to a place where they will receive the best care. Our marketing continues even after the treatment is completed with follow-up phone calls from the surgeon and a care package shipped to their home with a thank you card signed by our surgeon, and their dentist. Even with an enhanced online presence, our business model has a soft approach to online marketing it could be defined as a pull strategy versus a direct market approach. Our goal is to do such a good job for the patient that they will tell their friends and family, and especially their dentists about their positive experiences. The practice also have a full time person assigned to track and respond to postings on face book and twitter, and create a report once a week about the activity generated on those sights regarding our practice. The information is discussed monthly to identify trends in the feedback received, and make any adjustments needed. The way the practice markets its self-online is through excellent educational resources available to our patients and referring doctors By spending additional resources on state-of-the-art interactive videos, our target groups are better able to understand the specialized treatments the practice offers and the efforts it has gone through to create a value for the patient coming to the practice. Being better informed and more comfortable knowing what to expect, people are more likely to seek treatment with our office because of the confidence gained from reviewing educational materials found on our enhanced website. Knowing what features and benefits are important to this practice help keep us relevant to consumers, also help us to determine cost allocations for the expansion project. Being able to streamline our search and discovery phase for vendors to support this website will also be very valuable. The practice will also coordinate our marketing plans around our target demographics to help support traffic flow to our expanded website. All of these things will help us achieve our goal of an expanded web presence and will help us to develop a better customer relationship, and a stronger market position.
In summary, the practice has identified its target customers, and what channels they come to us from. To assist in gaining increased market share the practice is going to make the SEO feature work to its maximum potential by identifying the strongest and most searched key words and metatags for our industry, and strengthen the key word paths that lead them to our website. The practice them is going to add links on the site to the company’s face book page, and add icons for twitter like us buttons. To assist the referring dentist the practice is going to create downloadable animated videos that the referring doctor can use as an instructional tool. The opportunity will also exist for patients to email or post on their walls the same procedure video describing what they are going to have done, should they choose to share. Each of those proceedure specific videos will have a link back to the company website, so if the person they are sharing with wants to know more they will be able to go directly to our site. In addition to the strategies above the practice is going to use our CRM database to identify the B@B customers who are the most loyal to our practice and reward them with priority scheduling, and exclusive educational opportunities for the dentists and their staff. The practice will also add a link to the website, which gives the web links to the doctors who work closely with us. Our strategy is to measure the response of the reward system by tracking any increase or decrease in referral patterns. Finally, the practice is going to offer an e-commerce solution that will have the patients coming back to our site and by doing so have the opportunity to learn more about the services the practice offers. By actively pursuing these strategies we intend to distinguish ourselves from our competition, by educating the patients early, partnering with their dentists, and giving them an exceptional surgical experience which they will rate all others by. Having identified areas to improve upon and creating implementable strategy’s the practice intends to highlight our strengths and minimize our weaknesses.

A4: SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization as it is better known is hugely important to business that is reliant on web traffic to drive business to its electronic step. The average person searching the web typically spends less than five clicks searching for the information they are looking for. In order to be able to capture that traffic you need to be highly visible, your website has to have the information the customer is looking for easily accessible and it does not hurt if you are the top of the search engine results page that they were using. If you search the web for very long you will notice a trend about the top of the search results page. On Google, Yahoo, and Bing people the top of these results page paid the search engine company to be there, or paid someone to ensure that the information their company wants the search for is properly filtered. According to a survey done in February of 2012 (Pew research, 2012) (see attached survey spread sheet) 80% of the American adults who use the Internet 91% of those use the Internet to search for information, and 80% of those American adults use the web to search for and find health information. Search engine optimization is crucial to any business relies heavily on Internet-based traffic to drive a significant portion of their business revenues. It is a highly competitive arena and even with some Internet, knowledge is very difficult to maintain your web dominance unless you are committed to doing it full-time, and then you would not have any time to run your business. The strategy our office chose was to have a private company manage our search engine optimization. Because of technicalities and subtle intricacies relating to Internet marketing the practice felt it best to pay someone to do what they do best, and focus on what the practice does best. There are other options such as pay per click, and social network trending that may help boost your web presence these options can become time consuming and expensive. The practice chose a company's primary specialization was in dentistry, and the oral surgery field. The practice wanted a company who understood the market the practice is going after, and had a proven record of accomplishment.
The benefit to the customer by having excellent search engine optimization is that they are able to find you much faster with less time spent searching and therefore it one more time spent on your website. Search engine optimization also puts your website information at the top of the search page so it is easier to find, and what is easier to find typically becomes the path or place that is chosen by the customer searching the Internet. The benefits of the company in having a well-managed search engine optimization feature is much better exposure, greater site frequency, and a more likely transition from the cyber world visit to a real-world visit. You also have a greater peace of mind knowing that a professional group, which allows you to focus on your most important job, the customer, is handling that aspect of your business.
In the viability section, we discussed the return on investment ratios regarding this web expansion. Part of the conversation was whether the practice wanted to spend the labor and resources researching all the nuances of which search engine was better, or going through the trial and error process of developing a website from scratch. Because of the size of our practice, the practice has limited talent resources and do not have an independent marketing or IT department. Part of our necessary considerations moving forward this project was to decide whether it was more cost effective to do this research and development ourselves, or to pay an outside company who had already done the necessary work, and was already an established expert in their field. The strategy the practice decided on was to pay a professional company to provide us a template for us to work with, and develop it with our expansion strategy in mind. The practice currently has 51 inbound links from various places across the net. (like) The practice knows it needs to increase those to help drive search traffic to our site. By adding social media links to our site the practice is trying to build more and more inbound link traffic to increase our popularity with the search engine bots. At this point the practice had not even done a Google key word search to see what types of phrases customers were looking for when they had questions about our industry. Knowing our lack of expertise in this area our strategy is to employ a company who specializes in this area and have them help us optimize our search engine optimization. The practice plan is to identify keyword and metatags relevant to our industry so when the practice meets with the company chosen, it will be prepared to discuss with them specific things about our industry.
A 5: Social Networking
In business, you are rewarded with new business by a good word from a satisfied customer. It is known as word-of-mouth. The old word-of-mouth adage has taken on a completely new form in the body of social networking. Before social networking sites became popular, it was sometimes difficult to determine what your community reputation actually was. With the anonymity the web offers critical feedback is just one click away. The instant feedback you may have wished for from your customers in the confines of the office is instead found online from customers sharing what they thought about their experience in your business for all to read. Face Book and Twitter have become the dominant social media force in today’s social networking hierarchy. This is why our web expansion strategy has chosen these two as our choice for social media offerings on our website. What is Face Book? Face book is a social networking site that was originally designed for college students and has evolved into a sharing center for any one 13 and up. Facebook offers any user a way to share with family and friends their experiences and thoughts on their own personal wall.
Twitter is “A very popular instant messaging system that lets a person send brief text messages up to 140 characters in length to a list of followers. Launched in 2006, Twitter was designed as a social network to keep friends and colleagues informed throughout the day. However, it became widely used for commercial and political purposes to keep customers, voters and fans up-to-date as well as to encourage feedback.” (Definition of Twitter, 2012)
Facebook and Twitter align themselves very closely with our expansion strategy. With our target demographics being millennial's, and baby boomers the practice has the opportunity to identify our practice with brands both demographics are very familiar with, know how to use, and trust. Being able to synchronize ourselves with the positive aspects of our patient's life gives our business a sense of inclusivity in our patient's extended social network. These two social media giants also have business practices that also lend themselves well to our practice philosophy, which is open communication, and growth from input. The benefit to the customer of having a social media outlet on our website is it gives our patients/customers a voice in our business, and as the practice has seen in recent events companies tend to respond very quickly when social media campaigns are launched for a cause. The other benefits to the customer by having a social media presence is it gives the customer the opportunity to view the feedback and/or responses posted by other members of their community who have received services from our office. Having this information readily available tends to put customers more at ease with their buying decision, or product purchase habits. The benefits to the company are many. One of the bigger benefits is positive association by proxy. If the customer already trust the brand you identify yourself with, they are more likely to trust you. Having a social media presence on a website also allows a business to view the information being posted by their customers. A company can look at this in one of two ways, as either a blessing or curse. The company who views this as a blessing tends to be a company who looks for opportunities to improve the customer experience, who welcome feedback and allows that growth process to occur. Companies who view it as a curse are probably doing something wrong, and are probably not ready for such a public presence anyways. The benefit to the company from a marketing standpoint is huge. You are able to insert yourself into life conversations, and you are able to broadcast your thoughts and/or company goings on instantaneously to a large group of people at the same time for relatively low cost. One of the final benefits to social media especially with our target demographics of the millennial group is their ability to drive large amounts of their parent’s discretionary income towards a certain company. Many countries have realized this trend and have quickly adopted social networking presences to capture untapped revenue source.
In order to make this strategy viable it is important not to just stick a label on your website, but to actually manage and grow the section of your business. People want to be involved in something that is worth their time, and effort. If you are unwilling to designate employees in your office to maintain and grow this feature, it is probably not an area that a company should choose to focus on. Our company has a designated person who was responsible for updating and maintaining our Facebook page and who is responsible to send out tweets about the cool things going on in our practice as long as it meets the HIPPA privacy act requirements. On our face book page, the practice is placing key animated videos such as implant procedure, and wisdom teeth removal videos, which can be viewed by the patient or they shared with anyone of their friends from our face book site. In the animated surgical videos the practice has embed links in the video to direct the patient to a description of the process on the company web site. There is also an option to repost to a different persons wall or have an option to link someone back to towards our web page. The practice is also using electronic and printed QR codes on all our marketing efforts to make it even easier to help those sharing get directly back to our site. The person assigned the task of social media information management in our office prepares a weekly report of all the activity and traffic are social media pages. That report is brought to senior management, where the information is reviewed, and discussed at the monthly senior management meeting. At this meeting, the reports are evaluated for any relevant information relating to actionable items, and if needed changes are made to ensure the quality of the patient experience. The practice has also employed the strategy of putting our web information on all of our branded and marketing items across all our different mediums. Lastly the practice is employing a “like us” on face book campaign with a monthly prize drawing in an effort to build more awareness about our website.
A6: Online CRM
At Sunridge Oral Surgery, our customer relationship strategy is to say yes. The practice believes that there is a way to say yes even if the answer is no. Our customers are amazed when they walked into the office, and always comment on how relaxed, and at home they feel. The office is designed in such a way that from time the patient walks into the door, until the time that they leave, our customers are treated like they are the only important thing in our office. Lots of time and money went into the training and education of our staff, and no expense was spared on the surgical equipment, or supporting hardware and software related to surgery. Part of our website expansion strategy was to try to capture the essence and feel of the brick-and-mortar patient experience, and channel that energy into our website design. A large part of being able to say yes is to anticipate the needs of our customers before the customers are aware that they have those needs. Being able to anticipate in such a manor has come from lots of trial and error in order for refine our customers experience. The practice believe so strongly in the positive customer experience, that in our web site expansion strategy the practice has included a contact us link on our website. That link provides a direct line phone number to our office where someone will answer the phone 24-7, or is a written response is preferred, a feedback section where customer can write about their concerns or thoughts to us, and have them read by a member of our staff with direct conflict resolution authority. Our feedback section is taken very seriously is maintained and reviewed by the hour. In the event that a customer need, or concern exceeds our preset resolution standards escalates immediately to a member of the senior management team who will call the patient/customer personally to seek resolution to the patient's needs or concerns, even if that resolution is not in the best financial interest of our company. In order to remain a viable company one must learn from mistakes and take constructive criticism well. Then to be able to translate those opportunities for growth into positive learning experiences, which will enhance the future of the company. The benefit of customer relationship management for the customer is a better overall customer/patient relationship with the business. With the ability to write feedback to a company, the customer feels as if they have a way to voice their thoughts, and share their opinions. Some of the best advice and suggestions for company improvement come directly from the customer. If you were unwilling to be an outlet for customer feedback that people will seek validation of their thoughts elsewhere outside of your control and purview. It is our strategy to maintain the value of our brand inside the building, but on our web site as well. The value of customer relationship management as an essential part of any strategy is huge. Knowing what your customer is thinking, what their needs are, and what their dislikes are allow you to better serve them. Having an established relationship with your customer provides lasting revenue, which the growth of any company is relying upon. It is far easier to recommend products or services with the customer/patient who trusts you because of their past positive experiences that is to try and take that same suggestion to a new customer who is yet to understand the value the relationship you offer. As in any business, your reputation is a key part of maintaining your customer base, the goodwill in the community, and it will largely determine the success of your company. This is why a good customer relationship strategy is essential, and it is why the practice has included so heavily as part of our web expansion strategy.
The sole product our website offers is educational materials about our services, and information about our office. It is designed to be a tool for our referring dentists to educate their patients about the treatment they are recommending, and to answer common questions a patient might have prior to arriving at our office. By adding the expanded web site information, it should reduce the number of calls to our office with questions relating to treatment, and give patients some peace of mind about what to expect. Because the practice is by nature a direct referral, based form of business the practice is unable to leverage the full benefits of online customer relationship management on the website. An online CRM actively working on our website is not an entirely valuable tool. The practice is a direct dental professional referral based company; a customer cannot come to our business directly without seeing a dentist. The practice is a terminal resource for acute oral care. After the surgeon completes the work, patients usually do not return for very long periods. There are no user profiles to add or databases to build from the website, or product purchases to track. There are opportunities on the website to fill out a contact us form. If this occurs, the patient is contacted by one of our staff and typically questions answered. In the even someone wants to begin services with us the practice would refer them to one of our dental providers. All the traffic to our website is anonymous, and intended to be so. The only information collected on our site is the required paperwork to be medically seen in our office. That information is protected by HIPPA regulations and cannot be used for any other purpose, and the fines for doing so are steep. The best online CRM use strategy the practice came up with for use with our online resource was to put a tracking tool on the helpful information links on our website to see where people visiting our site traveled to from our main page. The information would be non-patient specific but would give us an idea of informational trends our patients are following, and which dentist they investigate based on the links the practice provides. With the inbound tracking feature we would be able to see where they were coming from and build a stronger presence there if the website lined up with our practice philosophy. The practice would also be able track the number of times a customer clicks on a given referring partners link on our website. The practice would then collect all the data into a report to be evaluated by management to determine if the customer’s interests could possibly be a need the practice could meet, or one their referring dentist could meet. The tracking of referral link clicks could be used as a marketing asset when the practice meets with our referring dentists. They could track how many of the clicks converted into actual increases in patient traffic.
A tool the practice does have in our industry that is a close cousin to CRM is our patient management software called OMS vision. Congress passed a law requiring all patient records be transferred to an electronic medical records format by the year 2014. The software that manages our patient's electronic medical records is OMS vision. This software does much more than just allowing us to enter patient information, it has many reporting tools and tracking features. These tools help us determine how the practice rates, and allocate resources towards our population of referring dentists. The software allows us to track the referral patterns of all of the dentists sent patients to our office. These reports detail how often a dentist refers patients to us, the types of cases they are referring, and an exact accounting in dollars of what those preferred treatment plans mean to our practice. Twice a year our practice reviews this data and classifies our dentists into four groups. These groups are listed from A to D in descending order. “A” representing the referring group the practice most desires and “D” representing referring dentists who have the least impact on our practice. A doctor’s letter is a designation, which determines how quickly our office responds to, requests from their office, how often the practice rewards/thank you market to them, and how quickly the practice schedules the patients referred to by the dentist. Typically, the groups of “A” doctors have priority scheduling and access to the surgeon, and are on a special marketing/gifting rotation quarterly. A designation of “B” doctor puts you in a similar category as an “A” doctor but not with the same priority scheduling. The practice does have a “B+” category that the practice puts a special marketing time limit on those doctors, where the practice treats like an “A” referrer while the practice works on developing stronger relationships with their office. Our goals is to convert “B+’s” to “A’s”. Doctors with a designation lower than a “B” are still part of our marketing strategy, but do not have the same level of access to our schedule as our top-tier refers do. With these reports from our patient management software, the practice is able to focus our marketing and relationship strategies towards the customer groups that are the most beneficial to our practice. Our system is not much different than the system airlines use in how they prioritize their seating based on a tiered level system. Just as the airlines are more likely to cater to the business traveler, the practice is much more likely to cater to the strongest business-to-business relationships the practice has, in our industry, those business partners happen to be other dentists.
A7: E Commerce Solutions
Our product is the experience our patients receive when they visit our office. It is one of the crucial strengths that set us apart from our competition. There are several key things that go into that experience. The first key element is the layout and design of our office. Our customers feel like they are at a resort or spa and not a surgical center. This feature goes a long way to help relax our patients. Next is our superb level of customer service as mentioned before the practice go out of our way to say “yes”. Each of our name tags say “Patient Care Specialists” from the surgeon on down. Once the patient makes it past our lobby they begin to see how well our office is equipped, and taken care of. They begin to build confidence that they made the right choice to come to our practice. Once the initial pre exam paperwork is taken care of the patient has the opportunity to discuss the treatments they want, and hear what the surgeon recommends. Once the decision is made to seek treatment the patient is scheduled right then and is given an estimate of the costs associated with their chosen treatment, and make payment arrangement’s at that time.
Our web expansion strategy is to make their experience online as close as possible to their actual visit as possible. Our tabs are arranged in the same order as the office visit cycle. The practice is trying to avoid any subconscious red flags that would keep them from seeking treatment once they arrive. Having our referring dentist use our site as a tool to educate their patients is our ultimate goal, and wanted them to have the flow match patient flow similar to theirs. With familiarity comes more use. The practice even included a referral tab for the dentist so they could refer the patient on the spot from our website without even having to get a pen out.
As a service, and not a product provider the practice examined closely the strategy of an e-commerce solution. The practice chooses to accept a wide range of credit cards, and have multiple financing options available to our customers. The practice evaluated numerous other companies in the same service industry as our company to see what, or if any e-commerce solutions were present. The practice noted that while many companies advertised various payment options none had an actual shopping cart function. The practice believe this is a direct result of the complexities of the human body and the difficulty of its non-standardization between people. Each treatment plan presented to a patient/customer is unique to them and their situation. This is not to say that there is not value in an e-commerce solution for our practice, the practice just had to think outside the box a little on how to utilize an e-commerce solution. It was decided to add a payment center to our website through the company that hosts our website. The company the practice chose is PBHS, and they had an online payment solution already designed. Once the practice decided to allow online payments on our website, the practice contacted them and they set up. The practice is already using a patient/customer number for all of our patients, and understands the convenience to our customers of being able to make online payments. Therefore, our patients now have the option of paying their final bill online to our office by using their patient number and a password to log into an account set up strictly for billing purposes. This is something new to our practice, and the something our competitors are not doing which gives us a unique strategic advantage over the major players in our market. This option satisfies our strategy to better encompass our two key demographic groups. It also enables our web experience to come even closer to an actual visit. Most of the millennial group have always had the Internet and are very comfortable making payments, and managing their finances online. The baby boomer generation may not have the same level of trust in the online payment arena, but they are being acclimated to the world of plastic. Because of their financial stability, and established wealth, many credit card companies market perks and rewards for the use of their product. This marketing strategy by the credit card companies has many baby boomers looking to maximize their benefits, and make their capital work the hardest for them. By providing an e-commerce solution that provides value for both of our target groups then it becomes a win-win for all.
The practice believes the benefit to the customer in this particular scenario is greater flexibility, and timesaving to the customer. If the customer is able to make their final, payment from where ever they may be it becomes a great convenience, especially with the travel schedules of many of our baby boomers. A large portion of our millennial demographic have set up automatic payment deductions from the checking account in order to give them maximum flexibility and peace of mind. Not having to spend additional revenue on stamps and the time spent looking for a mailbox is also a benefit. The sense of freedom and choice is also an intrinsic benefit to the customer. The benefit to the company is lower overhead achieved from not having to spend the labor producing necessaries billing statements required to receive payment. The other benefit is increased cash flow, and shorter aging periods on the Accounts Receivable reports. In addition, the company receives some benefit by the positive feedback of customers who enjoy the flexibility of making their payments online. By providing, another way to say yes to our customers also falls in line with our customer relationship management strategy and assists in the overall web expansion strategy. The implementation strategy of the online payment option will be to establish a payment portal on-site, which will be managed by our website management team. Our patients were able to login this portal view their transaction history, and from there be able to select an electronic payment option from several major credit, or bankcards to pay their balance in full. A print or email option will be available, alone with paperless statements if requested. If extended payment options have been arranged, then they will select an amount that was determined prior, and make that payment. Payments received will be posted to their accounts and the funds collected would be swept into our designated bank account each day.
A8 International Considerations
As part of our web expansion strategy, the practice looked at our competitors on a local, regional, and national level. The practice is a local small business, which competes in a local/ regional marketplace. With the expansion of our web presence, our small business reach is no longer limited to the regional area the practice can see and travel to within a day, but to the far corners of the globe. Being aware of our Internet footprint is very important to us as a company. The practice has gone to great lengths to ensure that our digital footprint has a great impact on our targeted demographic and at the same time does not alienate or offend a customer demographic the practice has yet to identify. The practice monitors our web content on a regular basis to ensure the information on our website is informative and relative to the services and procedures, the practice offers. Even though our services do not compete on the international stage, the practice is part of a multinational community. Every member of our MULTICULTURAL community has the opportunity to visit, and become a patient in our office. If our web presence creates a barrier to their deciding to become a customer of ours, then the practice have defeated our purpose in expanding our web presence. The practice places such a value on respecting our patient sensitivities the practice chose to have a company design our website and have relied on their expertise in their field to help the practice reach its goals in this arena.
Cultural concerns are not the only international considerations our company has considered. As business, we are also mindful of the value of the international marketplace on our business. Many of the companies who design and manufacture the products are used are not based in the United States. A large amount of innovation in our field comes from doctors and surgeons from other countries. A considerable amount of the testing and development of implants was done outside the country, and later adopted within the United States. As a business who offers surgical services, the practice also need to be mindful that our customers can receive similar treatment from doctors outside the United States. Our location in central Washington is not very far away from the Canadian border and a very short flight to the southern border of the United States. Mexico is fast becoming one of the leading destinations for medical procedures with a high dollar cost, and for procedures that American insurance companies are reluctant to cover. Being mindful that one of the key demographic center offices baby boomers who has the resources and flexibility to seek treatment wherever they choose. While the practice may not directly compete in the international market, the practice have to be mindful of its implications and work to create the customer service niche that keeps our customers loyal, and local.
The benefit to the customer of our company being mindful of international considerations is increased cultural sensitivity, and better surgical procedures taught to our surgeons by their international fellows. International competition also brings innovation, and better pricing to our industry. The benefits to the company of having international considerations are, expanded customer base, greater cultural acceptance of our services, and being mindful of our international presence helps us to consider the impact of our business choices beyond our normal frame of thinking. Having international considerations or business also does not limit where and how the practice look to improve our services for our customers.
A9: Web Development and Maintenance Costs
Cost is a considerable factor in any business decision made by a company, and must be carefully weighed with the potential risks and benefits of the expenditure. The practice estimated the time needed to take our website from concept to launch would take about three months. The practice then began to decide who would be needed from our staff to be on the development committee, and how many meeting it would take to come up with a finished concept and have it ready for a proposal presentation. This estimate did not take into consideration revision meetings and post revision meetings. It was decided that the office manager, the front office supervisor, and the surgical supervisor would be part of the committee. Each part of the customer experience would be represented. The practice calculated it would need at least 30 to 40 hours of collaboration as a group to have the time needed to deliver a proposal. So the practice added up the wages of those people, and came up with about 100.00 an hour. The math worked out to be about 4,000 in concept development. The practice added in the surgeon’s time to meet with us, and subtracted the opportunity cost of revenue loss by his not producing revenue, and came up with a conservative number of about 10,000.00 for a total of nearly 14,000.00 it would take to do the labor ourselves on this project. After much deliberation about whether the costs savings to develop an expanded web presence internally outweighed the benefits of having it done externally by a group of highly respected professionals, it was decided to put our resources towards an external source. The practice chose a company who is highly regarded in our professional community, and who had the best overall product for our expansion needs. The name of the company is P. B. H. S., and the practice have been happy with our decision ever since. The practice spoke to PBHS about our strategy and our target demographics, and then asked them to present to us some solutions in the form of a proposal. The practice asked them to include items such as startup costs, web development costs, and search engine optimization costs. PBHS also included additional marketing options for our consideration.
The benefit to the customer on having a customized website is its ability to be tailored to fit our needs. The practice chose a semi –custom web template. This form allowed the practice to input specific information about our practice, and had features, which allowed us to expand social media links. With additional funds, the practice was able to have an online payment and patient information form designed to integrate with our software in the office. Also having a separate company maintain the website ensures that the website is always operational, the links work, and they monitor the website for any malicious activity that might affect the value of the website to our customers.
The benefit to the company by having a professionally develop website is it frees up our office staff and surgeons to focus on our biggest priority which is serving the customer. Initial startup costs are little higher than some of the do-it-yourself websites, but it was decided that the customers deserved a website that reflected the quality of the services the practice provides. The practice also felt the patient might question the quality of our services if the practice were too cheap to spend adequate resources on a proper website. Having a customer value your website should transition into a customer placing value on your services. When a customer has a perceived value of any product or service, they are willing to pay more for the value, then if they felt very little value. This translates into more revenue for the business owner, which in turns helps offset the costs associated with it proper website development.
The hard cost expenditure of a professionally developed template website would cost the practice an initial 2,522.00 for the template, custom forms and web hosting combined. It will cost 30 dollars a month to maintain the custom forms and 40 dollars a month for the semi-custom hosting fees, total 840.00. The practice estimates forty hours of labor a quarter @ 15.00 an hour totaling 2,400.00 to maintain the social media components, and updates to the staff information on the site for a yearly upkeep of 3,240.00 annually. To put the costs into relative terms for the office the practice would have to do three additional implant treatment cases per year, and/or additional five wisdom teeth extractions per year to cover these costs. To put even more simply it costs our practice one half day of surgical production, to have the benefit of an entire year of website maintenance. This estimate is based on the first year cost, and will go down to only maintenance costs the second-year and so on. The value of this service to our practice by using this strategy is estimated to increase our referrals by 25%. If referrals go up by 25% from this expansion strategy, that represents $750,000 increase to our practice production. The partnered strategy made financial sense, and time expenditure limited to an implementation phase. The strategy helped us maintain our focus on her overall strategy of growing our practice by developing our customer base and marketing to the referring dentists who require a lot of information and one-on-one time from our office.

B: Site Map
See Attached PowerPoint Document for Sitemap

C: Design Mock Up

Reference Page:

idata research.net. (2012, 09 27). PR Newswire. Retrieved 09 27, 2012, from PR News Wire: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/explosive-growth-in-dental-implant-and-cadcam-crown-and-bridge-procedures-ensures-market-recovery-and-fuels-dental-aesthetic-sales-99304379.html
Pew research. (2012, 09 29). Pew Internet. Retrieved 09 27, 2012, from What Inerent Users do Online/ Pew research Center: http://pewinternet.org/Trend-Data-(Adults)/Online-Activites-Total.aspx

Baby Boomer. (2012, 09 12). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomer
Definition of Twitter. (2012, 09 17). Retrieved from PC Magazine: http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,1237,t=Twitter&i=57880,00.asp
Rouse, M. (2011, March). millennials (millennial generation). Retrieved from Whatis.com: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/millennials-millennial-generation

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